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Leading the LocalitiesExecutive Mayors in English Local Governance$
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Colin Copus

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719071867

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719071867.001.0001

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Councillors: a new and developing role or a diminished responsibility?

Councillors: a new and developing role or a diminished responsibility?

(p.164) 8 Councillors: a new and developing role or a diminished responsibility?
Leading the Localities

Colin Copus

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses the role of the councillor serving alongside an elected mayor, and the reactions and experiences of councillors to working with an elected mayor. It specifically explores how the London Borough of Newham redefines the role of the councillor. The arrival of the English version of the directly elected mayor eases the tension between governing and representation as it is experienced by the councillor. Mayoral government has the potential to strengthen the links the councillor has with the ward he or she represents. Labour councillors saw a greater importance for the mayor in representing his or her party than Conservative, Liberal Democrat and (not surprisingly) independent councillors. Councillors on mayoral authorities have recognised their role in relation to mayoral accountability, but perceive that their role has been diminished as a result of the direct election, by the public, of the political head of the council.

Keywords:   elected mayor, London Borough of Newham, mayoral government, direct election, Labour councillors, Conservative councillors, Liberal Democrat councillors

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